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Beyond Talent: Interview with Priya P. Pai, Corporate Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Over the last few months, we received invaluable career advice from an in-house counsel and a Big Law associate.  This month, we wanted to gain a partner’s perspective on what law students and junior associates can do to set themselves up for success.  For insight, Lina reached out to Priya P. Pai, who made partner in Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s San Francisco office in October 2014.  Priya graciously set aside time from her busy schedule to discuss her corporate practice, what she wishes she knew in law school and as a young attorney, and her path to partnership at one…

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Beyond Talent: Interview with Mary Procaccio-Flowers, IP Litigation Associate at Wilson Sonsini

Intellectual property law is one of the few legal practices that have thrived over the years. IP attorneys are especially busy and sought-after in the Bay Area, where we are based. This month, we wanted to provide the Ms. JD audience with insight on what it’s like to be an IP litigator in Big Law. To gain some perspective, Lina reached out to Mary Procaccio-Flowers, a third-year IP litigation associate in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s (WSGR’s) Palo Alto office. Lina met Mary this May at a Bay Area Women Attorneys Joint Networking Mixer that WSGR generously hosted. Upon learning…

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Beyond Talent – So You Think You (May) Want to Make Partner

For most law students, the goal is to land an associate position within a law firm upon graduation. Once a first-year associate, the focus is usually on producing solid work product and to not make mistakes. To a junior associate, the notion of making partner can be daunting and foreign, perhaps even seemingly hopeless. And for good reason. The road to partnership is a long one, and aside from Hollywood’s glitzy and dramatic portrayal of partnership in lawyer shows like “Suits,” it’s difficult for junior associates to witness all that happens behind the scenes in the making of a partner.…

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Beyond Talent: Back to Basics

Lately, it feels like every article out there about women in the law highlights the obstacles we face in this profession. A recent Harvard Study noted that women in the law “appear to be leaving their prestigious positions – and the profession as a whole – in alarming numbers.” According to the National Association of Women Lawyers, in 2013 women accounted for only “17 percent of equity partners in the 200 largest law firms.” The facts and reality are hard to ignore, and can leave us all feeling a little disenchanted with our future in the law. Rather than highlighting…

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Beyond Talent: Legal Career Planning 101

As a junior associate, it’s never too early to be thinking about your career trajectory. In our experience, many associates don’t seriously contemplate their career goals until it’s too late. Not everyone realizes, for example, that the best time for associates to lateral is between their third and fifth years (mainly for reasons tied to partnership prospects). Nor does everyone question whether his or her firm is the best platform for making the in-house leap. Now, more so than ever before, associates must be proactive in planning their career paths. While there are factors that are outside of associates’ control,…

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Beyond Talent: Interview with Genelle Ng, Legal Counsel @ Twitter

This month, we wanted to provide the Ms. JD audience with insight on what it’s like to work in-house. To do so, Lina reached out to Genelle Ng, Legal Counsel at Twitter, for an interview. Lina met Genelle through their involvement with the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (APABA-SV), where Genelle served as President in 2013. Genelle graciously set aside time out of her hectic schedule to meet with Lina at the headquarters of Twitter to answer questions and offer some perspective. (Genelle was interviewed by a former Ms. JD writer in 2011 when she was still a…

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Beyond Talent: What Law Firm Partners Want Junior Associates to Know

Congratulations! As a junior associate, you have made it through law school, passed the bar, and are settling in at your first law firm job. It is an exciting time in a young attorney’s life, but also a very challenging one. Most associates who aim to achieve “rock star” status at their firm don’t truly know what it takes. In fact, to succeed in a law firm requires more than simply producing impeccable work product (although doing so should be your top priority). So, what are the other characteristics that make an associate rise above the rest? This past month,…

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Beyond Talent: Instructions Not Included

“It’s not that I was super interested in intellectual property litigation, I was kind of thrown into it when I started out at my firm…and now I’m stuck.” –Rising second-year Big Law associate Law school teaches students how to analyze facts, construct effective arguments, and produce clear and concise writing. It does not, however, effectively teach its students about the plethora of legal practices found in the law firm world. As a result, many associates “fall into” a practice area without truly understanding the lasting impact of their decision. In fact, it is extremely difficult to switch practice areas after…

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